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EGYPT Bombing suspect killed in shootout



Published: Tue, August 2, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Mohamed Saleh Flayfil had been suspected in the Sharm el-Sheikh attack.

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Egyptian police cornered a main suspect in the Sharm el-Sheikh bombings in his mountain hideout Monday and killed him in a shootout that also fatally wounded his wife, authorities said.

A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is unauthorized to speak with the press, said the couple's 4-year-old daughter also was wounded.

Police hunting Mohamed Saleh Flayfil, 30, a Bedouin wanted also in last year's bomb attacks at the Taba resorts in the Sinai, discovered evidence "that elements involved in these attacks were hiding out in a quarry in Mount Ataqaa," 17 miles east of the Cairo-Suez highway, the Interior Ministry said.

"Approaching the area in order to cordon it off, security officers were fired upon from the location, whereupon they immediately dealt with the attack," the statement said.

Flayfil was killed in the exchange of fire and his wife was wounded and taken to a hospital, the ministry said.

She died of her wounds and the daughter was also wounded in the shooting, the police official said.

Radical connection

Flayfil was being tried in absentia for the bombings in Taba in October that killed 34 people and was a main suspect among 15 wanted in the Sharm el-Sheikh attacks of July 23. The death toll in the Sharm attacks stands at 64, but hospitals say bodies still uncounted could bring it up to 88.

Two car bombs and a bomb in a knapsack ripped through a luxury hotel, a neighborhood full of Egyptians and the entrance to a beach promenade in those attacks. Investigators are focusing on the likelihood that homegrown Islamic militant cells in Sinai, possibly with international links, carried out the bombings.

Flayfil was a brother of Suleiman Flayfil, 31, one of the Taba attackers, who reportedly died in one of the explosions when he detonated his charges prematurely.

In an interview last week, Flayfil's father, Sheik Ahmed Flayfil, said his sons turned their backs on him in 1995 after adopting extremist Islamic ideology.

"No power on earth was able to take the poisonous ideas out of their minds," Sheik Ahmed said at the interview in his home in al-Medan, six miles west of the Sinai town of el-Arish.

"It was very clear that they mixed with fanatic groups in el-Arish and were affected by dangerous people to the extent that they weren't obeying me or their tribe," he said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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